*This is an old post from a parenting blog I used to write for. I find is still relevant in these times and wanted to share.
It’s been a hell of a week. The news is full of distressing headlines. Murder, racism, and women’s health rights are weighing heavily on my mind. Add that to a close friend whose nephew is dying of cancer and a cousin whose dog was hit and killed, I’m one heavy hearted mama.
I’m also the girl you love to hate because I can find a bright side in just about every bleak corner. I don’t know where it came from, the ability, or curse, to always see the best in things. Wherever it came from, I firmly believe that it’s part of the reason my life has been so blessed. I believe you get what you expect to get, and you see what you expect to see. And it’s been true, at least so far.
What I’m getting at is that we’ve got some choices here. We can sit around, and be sad and pissed off, and disgusted. Or, we can get up, put on our butt-kicking boots and a thick coat of lipstick, and do something about it. And maybe the first way we can be pro-active is by choosing to see the good in the world.
This morning when I got out of bed, I decided I would find grace. I went out into the world today, looking for all the ways in which my fellow humans are making this world a better place. I saw the elderly Asian tailor who snuggled my toddler and reminded me how blessed I am to have my boy. The grandmother who played “shoe salesman” with my son while my husband shopped for a suit for two hours. The people who rushed to my aid when my clumsy self took a spill at the mall. I saw families giggling together, and laughed at the much older man who bought a pair of slacks because he liked the way his butt looked in them, and told us all that was the reason for his purchase.
Maybe I’m like Anne Frank, who said, “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death.” This is also what I believe. Call me ignorantly blissful, call me what you will, but I cling to this.
So, I am urging all of us to go out into the world this week. Take your children. Go out into this sick, sad, dangerous world full of suffering and madness and inequity and struggle. Go out into this world, with your babies at your side, and find grace. Show them the tiny ways in which the people around you can enrich your lives. Find small patches of sunlight, beauty in crooked smiles, and joy in mud puddles. Say thank you. Teach your children how to say thank you and feel it, with every cell in their bones. Because what else can we do? What else is there? How we see this planet is in the eyes of the beholder. And I, for one, choose to find the smallest of the miracles, and hold them to the light, and illuminate their glory.